PARRABUDDY.BLOGSPOT was started to help find a way for “Adaptive / Physically Challenged / Paralympic Cyclists ” to enjoy riding their bikes on the Daily Route of the famous Pro Tour Race Routes such as the “ Giro d’Italia " and the " Tour de France " !

Through lack of support i have been unable to achieve that goal and unless people decide to assist there is little chance that my 19th season will be any more successful !

London 2012 Paralympics was amazing for ALL , not just those participating but those who followed via the Media !

Since 2009 several other Blogs have been created to cover various other subjects !

Below is a guide to their separate purposes :

In the main Parrabuddy is about “Adaptive / Physically Challenged Sport” and Health Issues.

Skippi-cyclist is about personal issues and Road Safety Issues.

SkippyAus is about matters relating to Oz and some personal memories from my life there.

Tourdafarce & Tourdafrance are about matters relating to the Pro Tour , Racers and some personal experiences during my various visits to ride the Pro Tour routes .

Skippy (blogging) is about a variety of issues on the Internet .

NOT ALL postings arrive in their correct area but I will generally try to separate my views on Doping and Sporting Fraud from Road Safety Issues .

Comments ARE WELCOMED since this shows that those reading are interested in the subject matter ! Enjoy comments made to other blogs so wonder why only " anonymous " posts here !

Over the period of these "Blogs" I have had visibility on Twitter as “Skippydetour” and on Facebook as “Skippy Mc Carthy” where Google usually advise postings on the Blogs as they occur .

When any of you visit these Blogs I hope I am able to add value to your day and provide a source of information if not inspiration . Please consider asking your friends and contacts to add their support as many of the Para Athletes are struggling to find the resources to compete in Events at regional Levels let alone National Levels .

You the reader have the possibility to help these Amazing Athletes in your own way and contacting your National Paralympic Internet Site for relevant info is a good start !

Aug 12, 2010


Yesterday i changed the chain on my "Grand Tour bike", you know the "pink one" ! This chain was put on in april 2009 when setting up the bike before the "2009 Giro d'Italia" after the frame had been repainted by the cowboys who could not be bothered to supply "touchup paint" but also cheated the guy who handled the job for me. When i delivered the frame in 2008 the paint job was "Gratis/promo", yea so why advertise £60 jobs and charge £153? Oh , only some jobs are £60? Misleading advertising? Well Bristol cowboys you are getting plenty of free advertising of the sort you CANNOT buy ! Congrats on a lousy job! Guess how many people have seen the bike by now and how many more know this story "Word of mouth" as well as in print/media !

The chain survived until i was riding in the "Chain gang" back from Trieste to Jesolo" on the Sunday evening after the stage and powering up the big hill driving 56 on 11 at about 35kph standing on the pedals to stay in the group which was composed of "Dilitante/race standard youngsters" ! The chain link opened and i sat down in time to avoid a spill and got spat out the rear like a "fruit seed"! Several locals including a mt/biker tried to help close/replace the link, even put in several that i carry as spares to no avail. WEll after an hour out came the thumb back to the start.

Monday morning i pulled up short of the start and found a really helpful Italian Bike Mechanic after about a dozen false starts, most wanted to help but did not have "shimano parts"! This guy guaranteed his work would last the life of the chain, it did and longer ! You see it survived 2009(11+km) and even though i was told in april to replace the chain after having it measured i decided as everything was working more or less correctly, to continue but carry a replacement and links in case of breakdown.

Well this season passed satisfactorily until 3km from the top of the Madelaine when the chain broke as i was nursing it to the top after a link opened. Luckily for me i had stopped alongside some English guys who had their trailor parked beside the road and whilst i drank a cup of coffee they fixed the chain. Days later, the friday night , i was entering the town of Rodex when they hollered "Skippy" as they drove around the roundabout on the bypass of the town, sorry guys if you did not hear me holler back !

I had been at the finish of the Etappe on the Mende airfield when the first storm struck early in the evening and having descended into the town was heading out for the next day's start at Rodex when the heavens opened once again. Having spotted the "Presidential Motor cycle squadron" in a tyre repair shop on the way out of Mende i headed back to their sheltering point. These guys are really friendly and some make the effort to speak English but have over the years gone out of their way to help where they can. During the hour or so we were there they supplied me with sandwiches and water so that the time passed quickly enough and i was entertained with stories of their careers and other news surrounding events observed at the tour.

When i left shortly before them as the storm had passed i had over 120km to go to Rodex so whilst waiting for a lift they passed on the way to their hotel. The first lift was about 30km and dropped me in time for "El Diablo" to pull in to offer a lift and drop me close to Rodex , my destination. Whilst driving Didi also supplied refreshment and although he does not speak any english we muddle along with my deutsch vocabulary , suffice to say the time passed quickly.

On my way into the town of Rodex i realised there was a YHA nearby and stopped to speak with a gentleman whose wife then took me on a guided tour until we found the Hostel closed for this period, I wonder who pays their bills if they do not want to be filled by tour visitors? Yves wife took me into Rodex town centre and then decided to offer me accom for the night. These strangers had a flat attached to their residence which left me self contained but they also sat me down to dinner and breakfast with a menu that would be the envy of any that were staying in a 5 star hotel. Single Malt scotch was an unexpected surprise as an aperitif as i rarely treat myself like this at home , seems a waste to open a bottle for myself these days. As i continue to mention in my blog entries this is the best part of the Tours, finding people such as this family who invite "Complete Strangers into their homes and treat them as Family" and this is why i continue to make the effort to support "Disabled Sport"

After the tour i was in Belgium to recover my car then over to the UK to visit a variety of friends. Sundays are always with a Cycle club somewhere, and this time it was with "Seamons Cycle club " out of Altrincham who decided to head for the hills outside Macclesfield. Even going out there the chain started skidding through but on the climb whenever i put effort into a higher gear i got a bruised knee when the chain skidded through, on the flat it was holding on the 56 ,11 but 42,11 etc was the problem as there was not enough tension any more.

Well yesterday i made the change and after 2 "Giro, 2 "Tdf, 2 "dauphinee a lot of trainig kilometres i figure that the chain which came from a Team bike must have in excess of 15000km and likely 20k usuage. I clean the chain as often as i can and use "wd40" like products rather than oils which tend to collect road dust/dirt and soil upholstery when in a vehicle.

Shimano would recommend replacement about 5k but teams change much earlier but regardless i hope this blog confirms the excellence of "Dura ace Products" which i continue to enjoy. The new "Dura ace Chain" is not working well on the 42 ,11 but runs smoothly enough elsewhere so there are some adjustments needed before i get back to trouble free riding before the Vuelta.

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